On contentment

The standard view of contentment is it comes from circumstances. If you have more good things in your life than bad things, you can be content. If you have more bad things in your life, you are not content.

But I think Scripture teaches something else entirely. Contentment comes when we put our trust in God's presence and his promises. Knowing that God is with us and is working for good in all circumstances gives us contentment even in the midst of really hard circumstances. Now I know I'm not really good at being content in hard circumstances yet, but the possibility does exist.

Earlier posts about contentment

Dealing with emotions

When I'm feeling something you know isn't right, what do I do?

1) Pretending I don't feel it because "I'm above that," is self deception.
2) Telling myself what I feel is wrong is a start. But expecting the feelings to go away when I finish telling myself it is wrong isn't realistic.
3) Telling myself I'm a bad person for feeling it is perhaps a good start, yet doesn't help me change either. And if I tell myself I'm a bad person, worse than other people for it, that becomes dangerous self-condemnation. Am I fallible, prone to selfishness and needing help? Yes. But that's not the end of the story.
4) Telling God what I feel and asking for his help is the best option. His ability and willingness to help is greater than my need.

An earlier post on dealing with emotions

Lord, I come

God, you said I should come to you, you said you want me in your world, you say you have a place for me, a job for me, and gifts to give me. I don't get it, I'm a pretty mediocre guy. Most days I really just want to be entertained. I want to be both the center of attention and the guy who doesn't have to do anything. I want what I can't have, that wouldn't do me good if I had it. But you say to come, so I come. Do what you want to do with me.

The uncertainties of faith

The Bible says the greatest and most powerful being in the universe loves us and is on our side. Yet it adds that this great, powerful and loving being is not always greatly concerned about our ease and comfort.
The great lover of our souls sometimes is disturbingly slow in giving us what we want. Worse, sometimes he refuses and brings the exact opposite of what we want. But these disappointments have their compensations. The most deserving soul that ever lived had his life cut short by a wicked and barbaric execution. Yet then he came out of the grave.
In our lives God can demonstrate great power and intricate planning to suddenly lift us safely out of an impending disaster, or cut short a major or minor trial. Other times he leaves us in the disaster with only a promise that it will be better in the end, and a surprising calmness that as bad as this gets, the promises are still precious. Why make promises when he could just deliver us?
What then is prayer? Going to him with all the messiness of our lives, acknowledging that the messiness is greater than our ability to distract ourselves or keep going in our own willpower, to celebrate the certainty of the promises while embracing the uncertainty of how those promises will be implemented in our here and now. And thankfulness for the unique and unpredictable path he's led us on up to now. And worship, that his greatness and love and perfection can never be celebrated enough, even as we remain uncertain what he will do next.